31 OCTOBER 2008
AIDWA TO MEET CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA SEEKING CBI PROBE INTO NUN’S GANG RAPE
The All India Democratic Women’s Association [AIDWA], the women’s wing of the Communist Party of India Marxist has in a compassionate letter to the Catholic Nun who was gang raped in Kandhamal, Orissa, said it would ask the Chief Justice of India to order a CBI enquiry into the assault on her.
AIDWA is the most major of a large number of national women’s organisations who have expressed deep concern at the plight of the Nun who was tortured in the anti Christian violence in Orissa which continues since it started on 24 August 20-07.
Left parties are perhaps the only political groups to have held protest demonstrations in the Kandhamal district capital Phulbani and the state capital Bhubaneswar against the anti Christian orgy of violence by Hindutva elements.
The Nun was gang raped by a Hindutva nun while police watched. She was taken away from the police and tortured again. A third time, the police abandoned her while they were coming to hospital in Bhubaneswar by bus.
The Nun said she had no faith in the Orissa police and beseeched the Supreme Court of India through her counsel for an enquiry by the federal agency, Central Bureau of Investigation. This was opposed by the state government which wants its own police to carry on the investigation. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal of the Nun. The Nun later addressed the media with the story of her ordeal.
The following is the text of the letter by Subhashini Ali, President , and Sudha Sunderaraman, General Secretary, of WIDWA sent to Dr John Dayal, secretary general, All India Christian Council, for sending to the Nun:
On behalf of all the more than one crore members of our orgnisation, the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), we extend our heartfelt support and solidarity in this extremely difficult and traumatic time. We appreciate your courage and your brave struggle for justice and would like to assure you that you are not alone. We and many, many others are with you.
After December, 2007, when the attacks on Christians, their churches, their shops and their homes started in Kandhamal, AIDWA has been protesting against these and demanding stringent action against the perpetrators. Many of our units in different parts of the country have also organized strong protests. After your recent press conference at which you spoke so movingly and with such dignity about the horrors you had not only witnessed but also been subjected to, we have sent telegrams from every state in the country to the Chief Minister of Orissa demanding that the investigation into your complaint be transferred to the CBI. We are also planning to meet the Chief Justice of India after he returns to the country to make the same request to him
We know that you are going through an extremely difficult time. Whenever it is convenient for you, we would be privileged to meet with you personally. If there is anything you would like us to do, please do not hesitate to let us know.
An AIDWA delegation, of which both of us will be part, will be visiting Kandhamal on the 1st and 2nd of November.
We are also extremely saddened by the tragic death of Father Digal. Our sincere condolences to all of you in this moment of great loss.
We are yours in solidarity,
Subhashini Ali, President and Sudha Sunderaraman, General Secretary, AIDWA”